My Hands Sing The Blues by Jeanne Walker Harvey illus. by Elizabeth Zunon
This is a beautiful portrayal of Romare Bearden's childhood journey. Showing many of Bearden's early influences from his birth state of North Carolina, his grandparents and trains. Harvey uses a lyrical bluesy text very fitting of Bearden's artistic style.
I'm like a singer calling out, then holding back
I'm like a trumpet player blowing loud, then dropping back
When I put a beat of color on an empty canvas
I never know what's coming down the track
As a young boy Bearden migrates from the south to the north. The story centers around this life changing move. I loved this biography, which is filled with heart and rhythm. Once I read the source notes and discovered that Harvey was influenced by several of Bearden's quotes it made this look at Bearden's childhood journey that much more authentic for me.
This is Elizabeth Zunon's first picture book. I am already a fan. The collage illustrations are a beautiful tribute to Bearden's style. Zunon manages to stay true to Bearden and incorporate much of her own style as well. I love her color palate. Check out some of Zunon's illustrations. The top six are from My Hands Sing the Blues.
Harvey and Zunon have come together to create a fabulous introduction to one of America's greatest artist. My Hands Sing the Blues will be released in September. Bearden was born on Sept 2, 1911. 2011 marks 100th year of his legacy.
Reading My Hands Sing the Blues made me want to revisit Bearden's work. Which I was able to do here a Centennial Tribute site in his honor.
I've linked this post to non fiction Monday. This weeks round up can be found at Capstone Connect